Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Man arrested for murder in Fort Sumner

A Fort Sumner man was charged Friday with an open count of murder in the death of his wife, then attempted suicide while in police custody, New Mexico State Police officials said.

Jose Garcia, 48, is being held at the Quay County Detention Center in Tucumcari in connection with the killing of Melody Garcia, 43, of Fort Sumner, said Lt. Pat Werick of the state police.

After his arrest, Jose Garcia was taken to the jail in Fort Sumner where he slashed his wrist in an attempted suicide, Werick said. He was then taken to a hospital in Santa Rosa and later transported to the Tucumcari facility.

No bond has been set, detention center officials said Saturday afternoon.

Werick said Jose Garcia has also been charged with tampering with evidence.

Werick said police received a call at 11:20 a.m. Friday from railroad workers saying a body was found near the tracks about 12 miles west of Fort Sumner. The body was identified as Melody Garcia.

The cause of death is under investigation, Werick said, and the body has been sent to a medical examiner in Albuquerque.

Werick said test results are expected early this week.

State police arrested Jose Garcia without incident on Friday and Werick said he is the only suspect in the killing.

Werick said Jose Garcia declined to make a statements to police and a motive has not been determined.

Melody Garcia’s brother, Robert Pennington, declined comment Saturday.